I see that camp has sunk to the ultimate low. I have never, and im sure no one else has either, seen nnamdi on an episode of maury to know if he’s her father. either way posting pics of a child to concoct whatever narrative you have going is beyond sick. I hope the law is brought in and that your womb remain barren.
As for the people who want us to forget about the historical significance of the Olivia Pope character and race, well you’d love that wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t want to mess with your show with all that ‘black’ talk. The fact that you don’t think that Scandal is about race shows how you, with your default world view, watch the show. If you had the brains you were given, all you’d have to do is listen to Rowan’s soliloquys, the aesthetics of him being taken to the Pentagon and brought in chains to Fitz. His use of the word “boy”, his words to Fitz, the things that he says to Olivia. Really, you somehow missed all that? Made you too uncomfortable did it?
I want the strong, badass Olivia Pope back, enough with the destruction of this anti-heroine that I used to love. Enough with making her a slave to the White House. Enough with the show calling her a whore and not giving her the words to fight back. Listen I get why Mellie calls her a whore, but it seems to be every episode now. And when Mellie isn’t calling her a whore, she’s referring to herself as a whore. I hate it. It’s misogynistic. How come nobody refers to Fitz as a whore, he’s the one who’s cheating on his wife. The other thing too is that infractions and micro-aggressions against Olivia seems to go unchecked. Cyrus and Mellie have always used her sexuality against her, yet she never responds or yells at them. Fitz seems to be the only person Olivia is allowed to yell at. Something she does. Frequently. Why is she mute when things happen to her? Where is Olivia Pope’s voice? Why does she never defend herself?
Characters are treated with contempt, the writers seem unable to build up a character without tearing another down. Why does Olivia have to be torn down in order for us to like Mellie? They are two incredible women in their own way, why does one have to be destroyed to prop the other up? Why does Mellie have to be raped to make her more likeable? Why couldn’t she just be an unapologetic badass? Did Walter White or Dexter have to be raped in order to make them more palatable to the audience? The destruction of one character to prop another is amateur hour to me. It’s happening with Fitz, Scott Foley has the acting skills of an amoeba, so the writers are literally saying to us “HEY GUYS, YOU HAVE TO LIKE THIS GUY BECAUSE HE’S BETTER THAN FITZ IN EVERY WAY AND HE’S SINGLE!!!”
The acrobatics that have been done in order to give Foley relevance is staggering to me. The man cannot act, and he stands out like a sore thumb. I have no idea what he’s doing on this show.
If we must have a triangle, why can’t we be paid the courtesy of having an actor who can win over the audience without the destruction of Fitz Grant’s character? Right now Jake is sitting pretty because the writers are assassinating Fitz left right and centre, and by default Olivia is made to look wishy washy and indecisive.
There is nothing consistent about Olivia and Fitz, they behave like hormonal teenagers even though they’ve been on this merry-go-round with each other for five years, and that’s on the writers, because the people we’re watching are at the whims of a showrunner who seems unable to keep the quality of her shows up past the third season.
Shonda, please either write the damned presidential divorce, or break them up permanently. The stench and dysfunction of Olitz is taking over the damned show, and I for one am sick of it.
“Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society.”—
- Angela Davis, activist, author, educator
Happy 70th birthday to one of my favourite sheroes ever!
yall loonies try to say were new nnamdi fans yet y’all know more about dude than all of KERRYs fans combined. why so much free time on your hand? and looking up someone’s address, but wanna cry to interpol…
these people are actual stalkers. this has to be illegal somehow.
yall loonies try to say were new nnamdi fans yet y’all know more about dude than all of KERRYs fans combined. why so much free time on your hand? and looking up someone’s address, but wanna cry to interpol and the fbi when people realize you’re a fake? mkay sis.
am I supposed to believe kerry is living with tony who’s living with his daddy???
In conversations about film, whenever people mention “love films” that they like, I am used to hearing The Notebook or Titanic mentioned. I don’t care for either of these two films though. My number one choice in terms of quality is of course Love Jones. Love Jones remains in its own cinematic stratosphere for me, with absolutely nothing in second place. Most of the White people that I talk to name the former two films; most of the Black people that I talk to name Love Jones or The Best Man. However, in terms of “cheesy” ones like The Notebook, (which is not on par with Love Jones, to me) I actually prefer The Bodyguard (which is).
In The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston made her cinematic debut in 1992 and portrayed the role of “Rachel Marron,” a successful pop singer and beauty icon who is also a single mother and has a less famous sister who also sings. Kevin Costner portrays “Frank Farmer,” a past Secret Service agent who moves into private security work because of his pain of not being there when the assassination attempt of President Reagan occurred, because he was at his own mother’s funeral. He is hired to protect “Rachel,” and their love affair begins after a very rocky start because she did not want protection as a woman with agency. However, she needed protection as a female celebrity—protection from threatening letters that quickly escalated.
For 1992, it still was a big deal to see an interracial couple on screen. Then again, now in 2013, a Cheerios commercial with an interracial couple has some people as angry as ever.
What I truly love about this film is the pacing/timing. The pacing is so natural that “Rachel” and “Frank” falling in love didn’t feel forced or cliche. It proceeded so naturally and with tension all along, in a way that I could envision real people experiencing under the same circumstances.
Another thing spoke to me—albeit problematic and complex itself. The audacity of a film to allow a darker skinned Black woman who is a single mother no less, have the “better” life than the light skinned older sister was interesting. It’s something that actually eschews most experiences of Black womanhood and fame, and notions of beauty and success. The current colourismin Hollywood and music is palpable; it most certainly has been since the dawn of recorded music, cinema and television.
bell hooks shared interesting commentary on The Bodyguard in her amazing film criticism book Reel To Real: Race, Sex and Class At The Movies, which was published in 1996—a few years after the film was released. I include some of her quotes below:
There has still been no collective political demand that Hollywood divest itself of White supremacy. Challenges are often made on the individual level, and they go unnoticed. Every now and then when a powerful White man in mainstream cinema chooses to act against White supremacist aesthetics, we are given a glimpse of the hostility Whites subject themselves to when they defy the status quo. A good example is Kevin Costner’s choice to make Whitney Houston the lead in The Bodyguard. This break with the conventional racism of mainstream cinema, with its insistence that Black women leads just would not have mass appeal did not occur because of outspoken collective resistance to racism. It was merely the whim of an individual white male. And he has ceased to be the “golden white male” that he was before this production.
He did get a lot of flack back then for this casting. And, seeing him at Whitney Houston’s funeral was interesting (albeit watching the whole thing was simply painful. I cried all day). I could see the love that he had for her in his eyes and hear it in his every word.
hooks’ also mentioned in an interview (noted in the aforementioned book):
The Bodyguard makes a significant break with the Hollywood construction of female characters—not because Whitney Houston has sex with this White man, but because the White man, [the character] Frank Farmer [played by Kevin Costner] says that her life is valuable, that her life is worth saving. Traditionally, Hollywood has said, ‘Black women are backdrops; they’re Dixie cups. You can use them and dispense them.’ Now, here’s a whole film saying just the opposite. Whether it’s a bad film is besides the point. The fact is, millions and millions of people around the world are looking at this film, which, at is core, challenges all our perceptions of the value of not only Black life but Black female life. To say that a Black single mother’s life is valuable is really a very revolutionary thing in a society where Black women who are single parents are always constructed in the public imagination as unbeautiful, unsexy, unintelligent, deranged, what have you.
Thus, though she called the film “bad,” which I call “cheesy” in the case of films like these, she also provided an illuminating point of view about the power of the imagery beyond the cinematic quality of the film.
There’s a scene in the film where “Rachel’s” scarf falls over and breaks in half over one of “Frank’s” swords that he collects. It’s fascinating because obviously the image alludes to their relationship turning sexual after that, but also because it’s asserting an idea of Whitney’s character as “feminine” (albeit in a typical way, implying “softness”), but an assertion that always eschews Black womanhood, in general, off-screen and on-screen. Obviously such an assertion still requires nuance and agency. Her character in the film did present this at times. She needed his protection professionally, but also wanted to maintain her sense of self-protection and agency throughout the film. This desire created conflict for them, which actually speaks to the challenges of protection/safety, in relation to gender, in a patriarchal society.
At the same time, the film’s overall message is paternalistic. I found it fascinating that we see Kevin Costner’s character related to God, nation and country.
I noticed this as well and ultimately the story could have been better if developed beyond this. Despite this, it still portrayed a different and more complex portrait of an interracial relationship for its time and well…even for now. Other than Scandal, I can’t think of a current passionate/problematic but also nuanced/complex portrait of an interracial relationship that’s memorable.
In The Bodyguard, we’re dealing with a White boy who is the right, for god, for country but who somehow finds himself at a moment of crisis in his life—having sex, falling in love with this Black woman. That’s what he needs to get himself together, but once he is together, he has to go back. So we have the final shots in the film where he’s back with God and nation. It’s all white. It’s all male, and of course, the film makes us feel that he’s made the right choice.
I found it really unfortunate how the story was woven to where even the audience expects the final goodbye kiss and his move back into White and male spaces, and hers with her life of fame and beauty, but one without romantic love. The story would have really been revolutionary if they could have stayed together. Portraits of independence and strength are common for Black women. Portraits of duty and power are common for White men. What’s not common is those identities being nuanced enough and challenging enough to permanently intersect.
At the same time, maybe the film isn’t just about him leaving her but her ultimately loving her life the way it was before he came. She didn’t leave him in a way that signaled the regret was only on her side. They both seem to have regret, but both chose pathways more common to their existence. Maybe this isn’t anti-revolutionary per se, but simply the fact that even when choices are there and people have agency, they still may choose the choice that more aligns with the status quo, but with information and power on their side, not just fear of rejecting the status quo.
Even a “cheesy” film like The Bodyguard reads to me as more than the cheese. It’s one of the first films that I ever saw with an interracial couple—when I saw it back in high school days. It made me think then and it makes me think now, whenever I catch it on TV. (Plus, of course, the music is so damn excellent—it’s the best selling film soundtrack of all time and was awarded greatly. Her vocals SLAYED.)
No matter how “good” or “bad” a cinematic interpretation or cultural production in general is, it is never “neutral.” There’s always something there that can be examined. For The Bodyguard, there’s definitely more there than meets the eye.